The Three Biggest Marketing Mistakes
Marketing is a field of trial and error. Sure, there are some academic principles regarding how a business needs to organize itself to have a market orientation, but by and large it involves trying things, measuring, modifying, and trying again. Sooner or later something works and you stick with it for a while. And when it stops working you try something else. There's no silver bullet for a successful marketing strategy, but I believe there are three major mistakes that will certainly ruin any marketing strategy no matter how whiz bang it is.
1. Putting yourself first: If a company is more concerned with their brand image and income statement than on genuinely solving a problem then it's priorities are in the wrong order. Focus on solving problems and looking at things from your customer's perspective. The difference between a sales person and an expert is the latter will provide you proper advice even if it means they don't make money from it. Treat others how they would like to be treated - Become a customer expert not a company expert.
2. Lack follow-up: Woody Allen best summed this up when he said "80% of success is just showing up". There are so many opportunities that are missed because leads or momentum are not properly followed up on. I had a previous employer who, prior to me joining them, would spend thousands to go to trade shows, collect cards and then let them sit in a drawer because they got busy with other things. If you spend effort and money on a marketing initiative then you should have goals and a plan for follow-up. Marketing for the sake of marketing is pointless. Nurture your leads into relationships and know how to prioritize the best opportunities. It's simple, it just takes some work.
3. Don't deliver on your promise: Too many companies hide behind elaborate business descriptions that are so full of business buzz words that it's tough to understand what they actually do. I think it's probably a defense mechanism to protect them from the fact they don't know either. As Einstein so eloquently stated "If you can't explain it simply you don't understand it enough". In addition, it's more important than ever to be authentic and carry out activities with integrity. Customers have become jaded and distrustful of marketers, so drop the chest thumping and superfluous adjectives when describing your product. Keep it simple and keep your word.
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